Arthur Execution Stayed, Same Sex Marriage update, Mardi Gras

Feb 17, 2015

      A federal judge has stayed the execution of an Alabama inmate who was scheduled to put to death Thursday.  U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins on Tuesday granted an emergency stay for Tommy Arthur. The death row inmate is challenging Alabama's new execution drug combination as potentially cruel and unusual punishment. That’s because it uses the same chemicals used in botched executions in other states.

      Esther Brown is the executive director of Project Hope. She says supports an end to the death penalty…

        “We have no right to kill.  That’s the long and the short of it.  And in this particular case, we know nothing of the protocol and we have no idea what happens to the individual.  There is meant to be a hearing in May on the protocol.  So what’s the hurry?”

        Alabama has not had an execution since 2013 because of a shortage of lethal injection drugs. Arthur would have been the first inmate put to death with a new drug combination.  Arthur has been on death row since 1983 for the contract killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker in 1982.

      The legal wrangling over same-sex marriage continues a full week after gay couples began marrying in Alabama.

      Lawyers have asked a federal judge to direct Attorney General Luther Strange to block an effort before theAlabama Supreme Court to keep weddings on hold.

      The Alabama Supreme Court is considering a request by two conservative groups to direct probate judges to stop issuing the marriage licenses to gay couples.

      Lawyers for gay couples and a probate judge on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to direct Strange step in and dismiss the effort.

      Randall Marshall, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said the attorney general has the ability to control all civil litigation brought in the name of the state.

      Strange's office did not immediately comment.

      Today marks the final day of Mardi Gras festivities and a number of events are scheduled along the Gulf Coast. French settlers in Mobile established the first organized Mardi Gras celebration in what would become the United States back in 1703. Scotty Kirkland is the curator at the History Museum of Mobile. He says there are two sides to the Fat Tuesday celebration…

“There is the public side that is quite open and elaborate then there is a side that is equally as elaborate that ties back into the some of the original ideas of societies and the different orders that they had.”

Four parades are scheduled for Mobile throughout the day. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are also planning parades of their own.

Credit murderpedia